Best Specialty Bookstore - 2011
Mystery and Imagination Bookstore
Specialization is for insects — and bookstores. Malcolm and Christine Bell have been in the specialty book trade since 1975, and for many years have run Los Angeles' only brick-and-mortar bookshop specializing in sci-fi, fiction, fantasy and horror. (The space actually is two stores in one, having absorbed Bookfellows' rare editions some years back.) Verne, Wells, Poe and Lovecraft all have their own sections at Mystery and Imagination Bookstore, as do Western lit, nautical lit, espionage, adventure and historical fiction, a rare find within a rare find. You'll find an aisle reserved for Hugo nominees, a sci-fi alcove, and a hand-lettered guide to time-travel reading. The stock, including a healthy dose of paperback editions, is immaculate and priced to move. Malcolm is an expert in first editions, and Christine, gingerly mending a paperback copy of A Touch of Infinity, offers career knowledge. "You cannot find all of these things online, although your perception may tell you otherwise," she says, standing beneath a rare Fahrenheit 451 poster. "We will help you find books that you wouldn't even know to look for." 238 N. Brand Ave., Glendale. (818) 545-0206, mysteryandimagination.com.